[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 99 (Tuesday, May 22, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 30308-30310]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-12413]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Office of the Secretary


Proposed Renewal of Information Collection: Alternatives Process 
in Hydropower Licensing

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, Office of Environmental Policy and 
Compliance, Interior.

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the 
Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance, Office of the Secretary, 
Department of the Interior announces the proposed extension of a public 
information collection and seeks public comments on the provisions 
thereof.

DATES: Consideration will be given to all comments received by July 23, 
2012.

ADDRESSES: Send your written comments to Shawn Alam, Office of 
Environmental Policy and Compliance, U.S. Department of the Interior, 
1849 C Street NW., MS 2462-MIB, Washington, DC 20240, fax 202-208-6970, 
or by electronic mail to Shawn_Alam@ios.doi.gov. Please mention that 
your comments concern the Alternatives Process in Hydropower Licensing, 
OMB Control Number 1094-0001.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request a copy of the information

[[Page 30309]]

collection request, any explanatory information and related forms, 
contact Shawn Alam, Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance, U.S. 
Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW., MS 2462-MIB, Washington, 
DC 20240, phone 202-208-5465, fax 202-208-6970, or by electronic mail 
to Shawn_Alam@ios.doi.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Abstract

    This notice is for renewal of information collection.
    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations at 5 CFR part 
1320, which implement the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 
3501 et seq., require that interested members of the public and 
affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information 
collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8 (d)).
    On November 14, 2005, the Departments of Agriculture, the Interior, 
and Commerce published regulations at 7 CFR part 1, 43 CFR part 45, and 
50 CFR part 221 to implement section 241 of the Energy Policy Act of 
2005 (EPAct), Public Law 109-58, which the President signed into law on 
August 8, 2005. Section 241 of the EPAct adds a new section 33 to the 
Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 823d, that allows the license 
applicant or any other party to the license proceeding to propose an 
alternative to a condition or prescription that one or more of the 
Departments develop for inclusion in a hydropower license issued by the 
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) under the FPA. This 
provision requires that the Departments of Agriculture, the Interior, 
and Commerce collect the information covered by 1094-0001.
    Under FPA section 33, the Secretary of the Department involved must 
accept the proposed alternative if the Secretary determines, based on 
substantial evidence provided by a party to the license proceeding or 
otherwise available to the Secretary, (a) that the alternative 
condition provides for the adequate protection and utilization of the 
reservation, or that the alternative prescription will be no less 
protective than the fishway initially proposed by the Secretary, and 
(b) that the alternative will either cost significantly less to 
implement or result in improved operation of the project works for 
electricity production.
    In order to make this determination, the regulations require that 
all of the following information be collected: (1) A description of the 
alternative, in an equivalent level of detail to the Department's 
preliminary condition or prescription; (2) an explanation of how the 
alternative: (i) if a condition, will provide for the adequate 
protection and utilization of the reservation; or (ii) if a 
prescription, will be no less protective than the fishway prescribed by 
the bureau; (3) an explanation of how the alternative, as compared to 
the preliminary condition or prescription, will: (i) Cost significantly 
less to implement; or (ii) result in improved operation of the project 
works for electricity production; (4) an explanation of how the 
alternative or revised alternative will affect: (i) Energy supply, 
distribution, cost, and use; (ii) flood control; (iii) navigation; (iv) 
water supply; (v) air quality; and (vi) other aspects of environmental 
quality; and (5) specific citations to any scientific studies, 
literature, and other documented information relied on to support the 
proposal.
    This notice of proposed renewal of an existing information 
collection is being published by the Office of Environmental Policy and 
Compliance, Department of the Interior, on behalf of all three 
Departments and the data provided below covers anticipated responses 
(alternative conditions/prescriptions and associated information) for 
all three Departments.

II. Data

    (1) Title: 7 CFR Part 1; 43 CFR Part 45; 50 CFR Part 221; the 
Alternatives Process in Hydropower Licensing.
    OMB Control Number: 1094-0001.
    Current Expiration Date: September 30, 2012.
    Type of Review: Information Collection Renewal.
    Affected Entities: Business or for-profit entities.
    Estimated annual number of respondents: 5.
    Frequency of responses: Once per alternative proposed.
    (2) Annual reporting and recordkeeping burden:

Total annual reporting per response: 500 hours.
Total number of estimated responses: 5.
Total annual reporting: 2,500 hours.
    (3) Description of the need and use of the information: The purpose 
of this information collection is to provide an opportunity for license 
parties to propose an alternative condition or prescription to that 
proposed by the Federal Government for inclusion in the hydropower 
licensing process.

III. Request for Comments

    The Departments invite comments on:
    (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the 
proper performance of the functions of the agencies, including whether 
the information will have practical utility;
    (b) The accuracy of the agencies' estimate of the burden of the 
collection of information and the validity of the methodology and 
assumptions used;
    (c) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
information to be collected; and
    (d) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on 
respondents, including through the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other collection techniques or other forms 
of information technology.
    ``Burden'' means the total time, effort, and financial resources 
expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose, or provide 
information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed 
to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install, and use 
technology and systems for the purposes of collecting, validating, and 
verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and 
disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able 
to respond to a collection of information, to search data sources, and 
to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit 
or otherwise disclose the information.
    All written comments, with names and addresses, will be available 
for public inspection. If you wish us to withhold your personal 
information, you must prominently state at the beginning of your 
comment what personal information you want us to withhold. We will 
honor your request to the extent allowable by law. If you wish to view 
any comments received, you may do so by scheduling an appointment with 
the Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance by calling (202) 208-
3891. A valid picture identification is required for entry into the 
Department of the Interior.
    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized 
and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information 
collection; they also will become a matter of public record.
    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required 
to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a 
currently valid Office of Management and Budget control number.


[[Page 30310]]


    Dated: May 16, 2012.
Mary Josie Blanchard,
Deputy Director, Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2012-12413 Filed 5-21-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-79-P